How to Avoid Rumors

Rumor is a piece of untrue information that spreads from person to person through verbal or written communication. It is a very powerful communication tool because it plays on people’s emotions such as fear, compassion and personal dignity. It can also affect the image of huge corporations if it is creatively used. For example, in 2011 a picture was spread via social media that portrayed the Fukushima nuclear leakage caused pollution to salt. Many people rushed to buy salt and this resulted in a huge stockpile that cost the corporation millions of dollars.

With the invention of the Internet rumors have become more effective and quicker. This is because everyone in the Internet is a source and a recipient of information. Moreover, in the Internet rumors can be forwarded very fast since it is easy to communicate with other people from different parts of the world. Some rumors are very dangerous and can cause serious effects such as the rumor about a chemical plant explosion in China that killed dozens of people. It was spread by numerous people via cell phones. It was a very harmful rumor because it made people panic and react before the truth was established.

In order to avoid rumors you must stop them in their tracks. This means if you hear something about yourself that you know is not true, address it immediately. If you are a victim of a rumor at work, for example, about your performance, talk to your boss or human resources right away so the issue can be resolved before it can become more widespread and damage your reputation.

If you are a spreader of rumors, you must be careful as well. You should only share information that you believe is true. It is important to remember that if you spread a rumor, it will be repeated even though you might not believe it yourself. You should also try to find out where the rumor originated from. If it was a big gossip spreader then you should try to find out what they were talking about at the time so you can prevent them from spreading that rumor in the future.

There are several factors that determine how a rumor spreads. The first is its credibility. If the rumor is juicy and interesting then it will be more likely to be shared. The second factor is anxiety. If an individual has a high-anxiety personality or is in an anxious situation then they are more likely to create and spread a rumor.

There are other variables such as the number of people who hear a rumor, its velocity and how long it lasts. Some rumors die out quickly while others spread rapidly. The more credible the rumor is and the longer it lasts, the stronger its influence will be. It is also important to consider the social and political context of the rumor. For example, bogie rumors reflect feared outcomes and wedge-driving rumors aim to undermine group loyalty or interpersonal relations.